“Marriage…mangalsutra…morality - everything has its own place. It occupied a prime position in my life for over two decades. And then I fell! Hard. At my fortieth, everyone proclaimed cheekily, ‘Women get naughty at four-zero-forty!’ Like most other things, this memory too was packed away to a desolate corner of the brain.
The how or what or why isn’t important at all, but it’ll suffice to say that I embarked on an affair. Didn’t think it would amount to anything - a bit of harmless flirting with a thirty-one-year-old. But it was obvious through countless WhatsApp texts and phone calls that there was a fire that needed stoking. And stoke it we did! Although logistics were difficult (we live in different continents), we made a plan to meet and I was…not excited…not nervous - but merely curious! I was a virgin until twenty, then married off - didn’t know anything about any other men, so I was filled with a sense of curiosity.
The body is a strange thing. I felt butterflies, the heart beat quicker, and the hand faltered whilst applying mascara on the day. He came by in an Uber, picked me up and we were driven to a five-star property not too far away. The confident sway of my hips was all too deceptive, and as we reached the room, the curiosity was replaced by a sense of impatience. I needn’t have worried. The first kiss was awkward - our teeth clashed briefly, and I thought instantly – ‘Uh oh - big mistake!’ The next second, there was a knock on the door, and we both tried to look nonchalant as I stumbled over my shoes to open up. But after that - no, I’m not intending to do a Christian Grey here - but he stood on my toes and ‘trapped’ me for our second kiss. Every nerve ending sang. Loudly.
He sang my tune beautifully - as if it were meant to be. The sense of liberation I felt was, is, indescribable. It was a no ‘holes barred’ (pun intended) fly-to-the-sky-and-hurtle-down-the-cliff twenty-four hours that followed. I was surprised in the bathroom, and then left gasping for breath as wave after wave of the big O overcame me.
My clandestine meeting with this man was the best I could have ever hoped for.
It was not easy at all; for me to overlook the countless stretch marks, the
saggy belly, the larger than normal pendulous boobs, and focus on the me
that I am - occasionally funny, occasionally sexy and occasionally beautiful.
It took six months of persistent pursuing from this bloke and a subsequent twenty-four hours, for me to finally look at myself in the mirror and exclaim with delight - ‘Hey girl, you are funny, sexy and beautiful!’
Don’t get me wrong - there is nothing ‘wrong’ in my marriage. My husband, on the outside is tall, fair skinned and handsome; and on the inside he is gentle, loving and extremely supportive. What’s more, he is a feminist too. So if you’re looking for someone to blame, you need to look elsewhere.
I also do not fit into the mould of a ‘bored housewife.’ I work in the field of education, have an extremely successful career and excel at what I do. And here’s another confession - I feel no guilt at my so-called transgression. I want to do it again. In fact, I WILL do it again. And again.
Having this affair liberated me. It showed me a mirror and held it at an angle I’d never looked at myself before. And you know what? I like what I see. I love me!
I feel not an ounce of guilt, not an iota of regret. More than anything, realisation struck that I am me first, then a wife and mother and daughter. So I need to look after me first, and of course the rest will follow. This decision to share my body with him was one that did not take much contemplating - morally, there were lots of blurred lines in relationships all around me. More than following the crowd, subconsciously I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
My one recommendation - if you can find a man who is in it for the same reasons you are, and if the chemistry is right, then go for it! Because, really, all we have is now!”
(As Told To Ritu Goyal Harish)